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  Pupillometry tracks cognitive load and salience network activity in a working memory functional magnetic resonance imaging task

Fietz, J., Pöhlchen, D., Binder, F., Czisch, M., Sämann, P. G., & Spoormaker, V. I. (2021). Pupillometry tracks cognitive load and salience network activity in a working memory functional magnetic resonance imaging task. HUMAN BRAIN MAPPING. doi:10.1002/hbm.25678.

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 Creators:
Fietz, Julia1, 2, Author           
Pöhlchen, Dorothee1, 2, Author           
Binder, Florian1, 2, Author           
Czisch, Michael3, Author           
Sämann, Philipp G.3, Author           
Spoormaker, Victor I.1, Author           
Affiliations:
1Dept. Translational Research in Psychiatry, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society, ou_2035295              
2IMPRS Translational Psychiatry, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society, ou_3318616              
3Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society, ou_1607137              

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 Abstract: The diameter of the human pupil tracks working memory processing and is associated with activity in the frontoparietal network. At the same time, recent neuroimaging research has linked human pupil fluctuations to activity in the salience network. In this combined functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)/pupillometry study, we recorded the pupil size of healthy human participants while they performed a blockwise organized working memory task (N-back) inside an MRI scanner in order to monitor the pupil fluctuations associated neural activity during working memory processing. We first confirmed that mean pupil size closely followed working memory load. Combining this with fMRI data, we focused on blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) correlates of mean pupil size modeled onto the task blocks as a parametric modulation. Interrogating this modulated task regressor, we were able to retrieve the frontoparietal network. Next, to fully exploit the within-block dynamics, we divided the blocks into 1 s time bins and filled these with corresponding pupil change values (first-order derivative of pupil size). We found that pupil change within N-back blocks was positively correlated with BOLD amplitudes in the areas of the salience network (namely bilateral insula, and anterior cingulate cortex). Taken together, fMRI with simultaneous measurement of pupil parameters constitutes a valuable tool to dissect working memory subprocesses related to both working memory load and salience of the presented stimuli.

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 Dates: 2021-10
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Identifiers: ISI: 000704515300001
DOI: 10.1002/hbm.25678
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Title: HUMAN BRAIN MAPPING
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: - Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1065-9471